Climate Dynamics

, Volume 51, Issue 11–12, pp 4439–4450 | Cite as

Frequency of spring dust weather in North China linked to sea ice variability in the Barents Sea

  • Ke FanEmail author
  • Zhiming Xie
  • Huijun Wang
  • Zhiqing Xu
  • Jiping Liu


The link between winter sea ice cover in the Barents Sea (SICBS) and the frequency of spring dust weather over North China (DWFNC) is investigated. It is found that year-to-year variability of SICBS and DWFNC are strongly correlated for the period 1996–2014 with a correlation coefficient of −0.65, whereas the correlation between SICBS and DWFNC is not statistically significant for the periods 1980–2014 and 1980–1995. During 1996–2014, low winter SICBS is associated with decreased snow cover over western Siberia (SCWS) in both winter and spring, which is also supported by a strengthening relationship between winter SICBS and spring SCWS since the mid-1990s. This leads to changes in atmospheric circulation and climate conditions that are favorable for increased frequency of dust weather events over North China. Our further analysis suggests that the interannual variability of the standard deviation of SICBS has intensified and the center of actions has moved eastward to the north Barents Sea and Kara Sea since the mid-1990s. Such change may easily induce stronger and southward stationary Rossby wave train propagation, influencing the dust-related atmospheric circulation (strengthened East Asian subtropical jet, increased cyclogenesis, and larger atmospheric thermal instability). Thus interannual variation of winter SICBS plays an increasingly important role in dust-related climate conditions over North China, which might serve as a new precursor for the prediction of spring dust activity in North China.


Winter sea-ice cover Barents Sea Dust weather frequency North China Snow cover Western Siberia 



The authors are grateful to Editor and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. This research was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41325018, 41421004, 41575079, 41676185). The research also supported by the CAS/SAFEEA International Partnership Program for creative Research Team “Regional environmental high resolution numerical simulation”.


  1. Archer CL, Calderia K (2008) Historial trends in the jet streams. Geophys Res Lett 30:L08803. doi:10/1029/2008GL033614Google Scholar
  2. Barenett TP, Dumenil L, Schlese U, Roekler E, Latif M (1989) The effect of Eurasian snow cover on regional and global climate variation. J Atmos Sci 46:661–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohen J, Coauthors (2014) Recent Arctic amplification and extreme mid-latitude Weather. Nat Geosci 7:627–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohen J, Entekhbabi D (1999) Eurasian snow cover and Northern Hemisphere climate predictability Geophys Res Lett 26(3):345–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Comiso JC, Parkinson CL, Gersten R, and Stock L (2008) Accelerated decline in the Arctic sea ice cover. Geophys Res Lett 35:L01703. doi: 10.1029/2007GL031972 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deser C, Teng H (2008) Evolution of Arctic sea ice concentration trends and the role of atmospheric circulation forcing during 1979–2007. Geophys Res Lett 35:L02504. doi: 10.1029/2007GL032023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fan K and Wang HJ (2004) Antarctic Oscillation and the dust weather frequency in North China. Geophysics Res Lett 31:L10201. doi: 10.1029/2004GL019465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fan K, Wang HJ (2006) The interannual variability of dust weather frequency in Beijing and its global atmospheric circulation. Chin J Geophys 49:890–897Google Scholar
  9. Fan K and Wang HJ (2007a) Dust storms in North China in 2002: a case study of the low frequency oscillation. Adv Atmos Sci 24(1):15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fan K, Wang HJ (2007b) Simulation on the AAO anomaly and its influence on the Northern Hemispheric circulation in boreal winter and spring. Chin J Geophys 50(2):397–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fan K, Xie ZM, Xu ZQ (2016) Two different periods of high dust weather frequency in northern China, 016 Vol. 9 (4):263–269. doi: 10.1080/16742834.2016.1176300
  12. Francis J, Vavrus S (2012) Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes. Geophys Res Lett 39:L06801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gao YQ, Sun JQ, Li F, et al. (2015) Arctic Sea ice and Eurasian Climate: a review. Adv Atmos Sci 32:92–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gong DY, Mao R, Shi PJ et al (2007) Correlation between east Asian dust storm frequency and PNA. Geophys Res Lett 34:L14710. doi: 10.1029/2007GL029944 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Graversen (2006) Do changes in the midlatitude circulation have any impact on the Arctic surface air temperature trend?. J Clim 19:5422–5438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graversen G, Mauritsen T, Tjernström M et al (2008) Vertical structure of recent Arctic warming. Nature 451:53–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Inoue J, Hori M (2012) The role of Barents Sea ice in the wintertime cyclone Track and emergence of a warm-Arctic and cold-Siberian Anomaly. J Clim 25:2561–2568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kalnay E, Coauthors (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kang DJ, Wang HJ (2005) Analysis on the decadal scale variation of the dust storm in North China. Science in China (series D) (in Chinese) 35 (11):1096–1102Google Scholar
  20. Kurosaki Y, Mikami M (2003) Recent frequent dust events and their relation to surface wind in East Asia. Geophys Res Lett 30:1736. doi: 10.1029/2003GL017261 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lang XM (2008) Prediction model for spring dust weather frequency in North China. Sci China (series D) 51:709–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee S (2014) A theory for polar amplification from a general circulation perspective. Asia-Pac J Atmos Sci 50:31–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liu JP, Curry JA, Wang HJ et al (2012) Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109:4074–4079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Miles MW, Divine DV, Furevik T, Jansen E, Moros M, Ogilvie AEJ (2013) A signal of persistent Atlantic multidecadal variability in Arctic sea ice. Geophy Res Lett. doi: 10.1002/2013GL058084 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Park D, Lee S, Feldstein M (2015) Attribution of the recent winter sea ice decline over the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean*. J Clim 28:4027–4033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Petoukhov and Semenov V (2010) A link between reduced Berents-Kara sea ice and cold winter extremes over northern continents. J Geophy Res 115:D21111. doi: 10.1029/2009Jd013568 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Qian WH, Quan LS, Shao SY (2002) Variations of the dust storm in China and its climatic control. J Clim 15:1216–1229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Robinson DA, Dewey KF, Heim R (1993) Global snow cover monitoring: an update. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 74:1689–1696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Salil M, Zhang R, Delworth TL (2011) Impact of the Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) on Arctic surface air temperature and sea ice variability. J Clim 24:6573–6581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stroeve JM, Holland M, Meier W, et al. (2007) Arctic sea ice decline: faster than forecast. Geophys Re Lett 34:L109501. doi: 10.1029/2007GL029703 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Takaya K, Nakamura H (2001) A formulation of a phase-independent wave-activity flux for stationary and migratory quasigeostrophic eddies on a zonally varying basic flow. J Atmo Sci 58(6):608–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Uccellini LW (1986) The possible influence of upstream upper-Level Baroclinic Processes on the development of the AEII storm. Mon Weather Rev 114:1019–1026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wang HJ, HP Chen, Liu JP (2015) Arctic Sea ice decline intensified haze pollution in eastern China. Atmos Ocean Sci Lett 8:1–9Google Scholar
  34. Wu RG, Kirtman BP (2007) Observed relationship of spring and summer East Asian rainfall with winter and Spring Eurasian snow. J Climate 20:1285–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wu BY, Huang RH, Gao DY (1999) The impacts of the variation of the se-ice extend in the Kara Sea and Barents Sea in the winter on the winter Monsoon over east Asia (in Chinese). Chinses. J Atmos Sci 23:268–275Google Scholar
  36. Wu YF, Zhang RJ, Han ZW, et al. (2010) Relationship between East Asian monsoon and dust weather frequency over Beijing. Adv Atmos Sci 27:1389–1398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yang S, Lau KM, Kim KM (2002) Variations of the East Asian jet stream and Asian-Pacific- American winter climate winter climate anomalies. J Clim 15:306–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang RJ, Han ZW, Wang MX et al. (2002) Dust storm weather in China: new characteristics and origins (in Chinese). Quat Sci 22:374–380Google Scholar
  39. Zhao CS Dabu X, Li Y (2004) Relationship between Climatic factors and dust storm frequency in Inner Mongolia of China. Geophys Res Lett 31:L01103. doi: 10.1029/2003Gl018351 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhu CW, Wang B, Qian WH (2008) Why do dust storms decrease in northern China concurrently with the recent global warming? Geophys Res Lett 35:L18702. doi: 10.1029/2008GL034886 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zou XK, Zhai PM (2004) Relationship between vegetation coverage and spring dust storms over northern China. J Geophys Res Atmos 109(D3). doi: 10.1029/2003JD003913
  42. Zuo ZY, Zhang RH, Wu BY, Rong XY (2012) Decadal variability in springtime snow over Eurasia: relation with circulation and possible influence on spring time rainfall over China. Int J Climatol 32:1336–1345CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Climate Change Research CenterChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at AlbanyState University of New YorkAlbanyUSA
  5. 5.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations